Philippians 4:10-23; Psalm 73:23-28

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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“Who is there in heaven but You, Lord?
And earth has nothing desirable besides You!
Flesh and heart may fail, but You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
I am always with You; You hold her by Your right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel, into Your truth, protecting me from being deceived by the concepts of this world. And one day, You’ll take me into glory to be with You forever!”

How very good it is to be near to You, Father! You, the Sovereign Lord, are my refuge. Help me to tell of all Your deeds by my words, my actions, my entire life!

You are God in times of plenty and You are still God in times of need… whatever the “riches” may be–money, time, friends, significance, direction, familiar faces, basic essentials, family bonds, avenues of ministry, skills/talents, etc.  You provide me the strength to do whatever lies before me.  And, You, my God, will meet ALL–not some, not only a few, but ALL! my needs according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

You are already at work to provide all that I need, helping me to sort out my needs and wants and “wait fors.”

Keep me right up next to Your heart and cause my own heart and mind to hunger for Your Word, more than anything else. Shape my mind, my perspective on life here by Your Truth. To You, our God and Father, be glory forever and ever!  Amen.

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Philippians 4:1-9

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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Ah, Father! Your presence is like nothing else!  The light of Your face—the warmth of Your embrace— the whisper of Your voice—the assurance of Your love!!  When Your character and nature are in full view, how easy it becomes to “rejoice in the Lord always.”

For this day and those to come, help me in all things to stand firm in You.  Allow others to see You in me, to know that You are near.

Remind me, as often as it takes, to stop being anxious about anything—to stop worrying over stuff, to stop trying to sort out stuff on my own.  Rather, help me to speak each thing to You in prayer, asking YOU for Your help, and thanking You for whatever You will do to affect the situation.  And thank You, Father, for the promise of Your peace when I do this. …Your peace that is far too great for me to completely understand—Your peace that is able to guard, protect, defend my mind (thought life) and her heart (emotions, who I am) in Christ Jesus.

Work Your will in my mind so that my thoughts are focused only on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—anything excellent or praiseworthy.  Cause me to think on such things.  When my mind strays or gets caught up in things contrary or counterfeit to these, grab my attention and redirect my thinking. Thanks for the peace You promise to bring when I do!!

Thanks for the things You’ve been teaching me all along as You’ve nurtured my faith in You.  Thanks for continuing to shape me into someone who’s learning to trust what You say, to trust You to be Who You say You are, to do what You say You’ll do.  Use me to cause other hearts to look to You even more. Make me even more like Jesus.  Amen.

Philippians 3

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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Father, “when I look into Your holiness, when I gaze into Your loveliness, … When I’ve found the joy of reaching Your heart and my will becomes enthroned with Your love, when all things that surround become shadows in the light of You, I worship You! I worship You!  The reason I live is to worship You!”*

Knowing You, Jesus, KNOWING YOU—the ultimate Source of all things needed for this life!  Thank You for welcoming a friendship with us!

As I face this day, and each one to come, help me to renew my commitment to follow You.  Strengthen me to toss all other things which I could consider valuable or profitable right into the trash. Show me again and again the stark difference in the things of this world compared to knowing You.  And help me to always set before me the goal of knowing You more and more intimately each day.

Thank You for the righteousness You give me through my faith in Christ and which comes directly from You, Father–nothing I could do on my own.  Refresh continually in me the desire to “know You, Christ, and the power of Your resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in Your sufferings, becoming like You in Your death, and so somehow, to get in on the resurrection from the dead.”  Help me to daily dump all other things I thought important right into the garbage and to embrace You and enjoy Your embracing me.

Definitely, Lord, I don’t have all of this together and am not anywhere near the complete goal.  But I’m on my way, reaching out for You, Jesus, who has so wondrously reached out for me.  I’m no expert—but inside here in my heart is a desire and somewhat of a determination:  My eye is on the goal, where You, Lord, await and are cheering and calling me onward–to Jesus.  I’m off and running and You can keep me from turning back or to the side.

So, Father, keep me centered on You and the goal of knowing You above all else; keep me wanting everything You have for me.  If I ever get anything else in mind, something less than total commitment, You just go ahead and clear up my blurred vision.  Keep me on the right track that leads along the path of Your will.

Father, You’ve revealed that there’s far more to life than right here and now, than what we can see.  I am a citizen of heaven! … awaiting the arrival of You, my Savior, my Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform my earthly body into a glorious body like Your own.  You’ll make me beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which You’re enabled to bring everything under Your control.

Come, Lord Jesus!  Amen.

*”When I Look into Your Holiness” composed by Cathy & Wayne Perrin; ⓒ Copyright 1981 by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.  Read the story behind the song

Philippians 2:19-30

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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Father, thank You for the example of Jesus, for His servant attitude and actions while He was here among us…. and ultimately as He served us through His death on the cross!  Thank You for other examples throughout history of people who love You and have followed Jesus’ example, choosing to look out for Your interests more than their own.

Create in me a servant’s heart, taking a genuine interest in the welfare of others consistently.  Develop within me that desire to see others succeed, grow in You, and be encouraged.  Help me to love others the way You love them.  Cause me to recognize continually the immense, yet undeserving, love You have unceasingly poured out on me and allow it to flow through me to touch others.

You have provided assurance for me in Your Word that YOU are my strength and my shield; my heart can trust in You and I will be helped… You’ve said so!  Cause my heart to leap for joy and to give thanks to You for YOU are my strength, You are my shepherd, who will carry me forever and will bless me inside and out with Your peace.

Work Your will in my life this day as You continue to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Philippians 2:1-18

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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Hello, Father!  Thank You for the encouragement You supply because I am united with Christ!  Thanks for the comfort from Your love and the fellowship with Your Spirit!  Thanks for Your tenderness and compassion!

In light of all these things (& much more!) that You provide, help me to daily surrender my attitude to You, with a heart of gratitude and praise.  Among my brothers and sisters in Christ, help me to be agreeable, to love as You love, to be deep-spirited in friendships.  Keep me from being obsessed with getting the advantage for myself.  Help me to be self-less, looking out for the interests of others—make me others-focused and Christ-centered.

Let it be said of me, whether while I’m alive or after I’ve gotten to go be with You:

“She was a child of God,
but didn’t consider that position
something to become conceited about.
But instead she…
… made herself nothing
… took the form of a servant
… embraced her humanity (with its limits & freedoms, weaknesses & strengths, pains & joys, etc.)
—a totally human body being transformed by the Spirit of God within her!
… looked like a human
… humbled herself
… became obedient & faithful unto death—whatever kind of death that result(s/ed)
THEREFORE (in light of all that’s been said, this is the case…)
Because she humbled herself…
GOD will lift her up & give her
a place in His presence and
she shall wear His name for all eternity!
At the mention of His name, ‘Jesus,’
her knee will bow and
her tongue confess, admit, testify, hold to,
‘Jesus Christ is Lord!’
and the Father will be glorified!”

Lord, help me to live in responsive obedience to You.  Infuse me with Your energy, keeping me reverent and sensitive before You.  This energy is Your energy, an energy You put deep within me–Yourself willing and working at what will give You the most pleasure through my life.

Help me to do everything readily and cheerfully–without complaining, bickering, arguing or second-guessing.  Take me out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this sin-polluted society.  Through me, provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.  Guide and strengthen me in carrying the light-giving Message into the night.

Thanks for the power and grace we have in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Philippians 1:12-30

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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Father, how precious is the thought of YOU!  You know all about me–yet You choose to love me.  You know all I’ve done— yet You choose to forgive me.  You know all that’s to come in my life–and You choose to guide me into Your good purpose.  All praise to You, Lord, for everything that You’ve done, that You do, and that You’re going to do in, through, and for me!

Paul saw his chains as opportunities, not hindrances, to be used by You, so that the good news of Jesus would be shared.  I have my own “chains,” as You know better than anyone, even myself.  Equip me with an attitude like You nurtured in Paul.  Cause my heart to be fully encouraged to speak Your Word more courageously and fearlessly, with an attitude of love encompassing all I do in Your name.  Cause me to love like breathing, something that comes naturally and is just a part of me.  May Your Son Jesus be exalted in my body–my actions, expressions and words.

Thank You for giving me THE purpose for my life: Jesus.  Whatever happens around me or to me, help me to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel, the good news of Your grace through Jesus.  Help me to stand firm in one spirit with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Thank You for allowing me to suffer at times as Jesus did, and for the assurance that You understand, that You are with me every step of the way.

Let each person who meets me see the extra-ordinary God who lives inside this ordinary girl, who is my very life… and Who offers life to them too.

This day, Lord, make me a blessing as I go.  Continue to conform my will to Yours and make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Philippians 1:1-11

In times of plenty, in times of want, YOU are still God.

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Father, thank You for Your grace and peace!  Thank You for the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus which made it possible for us to experience these gifts!

Thank You for the good work that You are carrying out in Your way, in Your time, as You shape me to be Your vessel!  Thank You for the assurance that You will one day bring me to completion—you’ll have transformed me to be just like Jesus!

Cause my love for others and You to “abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”  Make me “able to discern what is best.”  Make me “pure and blameless until the Day of Christ.”  Fill me with the “fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus” … that grows out of me because I remain in You.  (John 15)—all to YOUR glory and praise!!

Cause my love to keep growing until I have such understanding and keen perception that I can sort out the truly important matters.  Cause me to overflow with the goodness that comes from following Christ, to Your credit and honor, Father.

Cause my love to flourish, that I’ll not only love much but love well.  Teach me to love appropriately.  Help me to use my head and test my feelings so that my love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush.  Help me to live a lover’s life, circumspect (careful to consider circumstances and possible consequences) and exemplary (deserving imitation), a life that You, Jesus, will be proud of:  bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus attractive to all I encounter, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of You.

Cause my love to keep on growing. Help me to fully understand how to make the right choices, then I can be restored by You to pure and innocent when Christ returns.  And until that Day, keep me busy doing good stuff that brings glory and praise to YOU.

Cause me to overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time to keep growing in spiritual knowledge and insight.  Help me to always see clearly the difference between right and wrong, to be inwardly clean.  May I be found doing those good, kind things which show that I am Your child, for THAT will bring much praise and glory to You. Amen.